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About Karen Strickland, President


2014 to present

Karen Strickland began serving as AFT Washington President on July 15, 2013 following her position on the executive board as the Vice President for the Committee on Political Education. She is now serving her fifth term as president. Prior to moving into her current position, she held a number of elected positions at AFT Seattle including president, president of the Faculty Senate at Seattle Central Community College, Secretary of the Senate and Human and Civil Rights Chair. She was a tenured faculty member in the Social and Human Services Program at SCCC from 1993 until 2013 and has worked as a mental health counselor in a variety of settings since graduating with a Master’s Degree in Community and Clinical Psychology in 1988.

Karen views public education and the labor movement as the two best pathways to economic security and access to the American Dream. Given that, she has taken an active role in legislative and policy advocacy on behalf of faculty, students and the community and technical college system as well as worker rights. She believes we must fight for public education, workers’ rights, social justice and racial equity in partnership with community organizations and others who share our vision of a fully inclusive union and democracy, robust investment in the public good and the realization of dignity and equity for all.   .

The officers of AFT Washington shall be a president, a secretary, a treasurer, three (3) at-large vice presidents, a vice president for the committee on political education (COPE), a vice president for legal defense, a vice president for human rights, a vice president for legislative affairs, a vice president for contingent faculty issues, and a vice president for each council. No person may hold more than one office.